Charlotte Motor Speedway and Speedway Motorsports Inc. are interested in moving a Camping World Trucks Series race to The Dirt Track at Charlotte.
A move likely wouldn’t be made until 2017, but it’s something that Marcus Smith of SMI has pondered. During the “Chase Across America” event with Matt Kenseth through North Carolina, Smith spoke about the possibility with Jim Utter of Motorsport.com.
“I’ve had a lot of people ask me about that – I’ve had some drivers ask me, a lot of fans have asked me about it. We are open to the idea,” Smith said. “I think if teams want to do it, then I would certainly be open to doing it.
“I love what Eldora has done. I think that mid-week, primetime event is fantastic. I love going to it myself. If there is interest from teams to do it in Charlotte, then I know the Dirt Track at Charlotte would be a great place to host something like that.”
A can of worms was opened when NASCAR decided to move a Camping World Trucks Series race to Eldora Speedway back in 2013. Since then, the popularity of the dirt race has proved to be too much for NASCAR to ignore. While the ratings have dropped each season, the Mudsummer Classic is always one of the most popular races of the Trucks season.
NASCAR has already signed on for another race at Eldora and is potentially looking at adding another at Knoxville Speedway in Iowa.
The dirt racing trend not only helps bring in more viewers, but it also exposes them to a wide variety of drivers. After Austin Dillon and Bubba Wallace won the Mudsummer Classic in 2013 and 2014, respectively, dirt track racer Christopher Bell stole the show this year. It’s also helped him land sponsors for four more races with Kyle Busch Motorsports in 2015.
While Smith can see a Trucks race being held on The Dirt Track in Charlotte, he wasn’t quite as keen on the idea in the Sprint Cup Series.
“Certainly the Truck series lends itself to that. The Cup series—not really,” Smith said.
It’s a positive for NASCAR when moves are made to grow the sport. Adding a dirt race is something that benefits all parties and brings even more intrigue to a series outside of the Cup level.
Hosting one in a massive market like Charlotte? Well, that simply adds even more eyeballs on a discipline of racing trending upward.